I’m taking a short hiatus from blogging to get my manuscript ready to turn into my publisher on July 1. But I read something in today's New York Times that made my blood boil, and it was either say something or have my head explode. First, a question.
Imagine what would happen if Nobel Prize winning author V.S. Naipaul said: “No black person is my literary equal. Inevitably for a black person, they’re not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in their writing too. My black publisher was so good as a taster and editor, but as a writer, low and behold, it was all this black tosh.”
Boycotts? Denouncements? Apologies demanded? Angry editorials? All of which would be perfectly justified.
V.S. Naipaul did say these things. Except not about blacks. He said them about women. And he ended with: "I don’t mean this in any unkind way." Really? Think about what he means by that. It's not unkind, because, hey, it's just a fact, it's not their fault they can't write as well as men, the poor sentimental short-sighted dears.
Why is it still okay to say things about women that, if they were uttered about any other group, would rouse people to arms? If Mr. Naipaul felt that way about blacks or Jews or Muslims, do you think he’d have breathed a word of it, unless like Mel Gibson or John Galliano, he was roaring drunk?
Remember what happened to them? Why doesn’t that happen to him? I know, sadly, it sounds like a rhetorical question. Why is that?